In-demand talent could return

George Thorne
George Thorne
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George Thorne could return for a third spell at Fratton Park.

That is the hope of Pompey boss Michael Appleton.

The Blues manager believes the football world is waking up to the talent of the West Brom midfielder, who this week had his season ended by an ankle injury.

Appleton reckons a host of clubs are now keeping tabs on the 19-year-old, who has made 14 appearances in two loan spells at Fratton Park.

But the boss believes he could still tempt him back to Pompey in the future.

He said: ‘George was not only being appreciated by Portsmouth fans and probably West Brom fans and staff.

‘All of a sudden a lot of heads were turning up and down the country from pretty much every club.

‘He has been outstanding.

‘He is going to be missed dearly.

‘In the past three or four games, I think he has been outstanding.

‘His screening skills in front of the back four and making sure the ball doesn’t go in to the opposition’s front men has been very good.

‘He has a bright future ahead of him.

‘West Brom have a fantastic player there and I think they are aware of that now.

‘I will stay in touch with him and if there is anything I can do for him then I will do.

‘You never know, maybe somewhere down the line he can come and help us at some point.’

It is not yet clear whether Thorne will have to have surgery on the injury, after he limped off in the 5-1 Fratton Park loss to Burnley last weekend.

Appleton said: ‘He went over on his ankle and took a bit of a knock as well.

‘He has done one of his joints in his ankle.

‘He needs to see a specialist at some point regarding whether he will need surgery or not.’